Healthy food that’s easy too? These easy healthy dinner recipes are nourishing, and simple to make, and will satisfy everyone at the table.
We know what you’re thinking: it’s hard to eat healthy because it takes longer to cook. But what if we told you that eating healthy dinner recipes could be…easy? Alex and I are dedicated to the idea that eating healthy food doesn’t have to take longer or be complicated. It can be pretty simple, in fact! All it takes is a little planning and a handful of go-to recipes that make healthy eating fun and delicious, not a chore!
Of course, we wrote a book dedicated to that whole idea (called Pretty Simple Cooking!). And we have hundreds of recipes online to prove that eating easy healthy dinner recipes is absolutely possible. But first, a note on healthy.
What’s an easy healthy dinner?
What’s our definition of healthy? Alex and I don’t follow any diet plan to a T. But the way we eat generally follows Mediterranean diet: lots and lots of vegetables and fruits, whole grains, and healthy fats like olive oil. We’re less about calorie counts and more about nutrients and variety of veggies. Did I mention lots of and lots of vegetables? Many of the recipes you’ll find here are vegetarian or vegan, but they taste so delicious you don’t feel like you’re making any sacrifices. We hope you’ll enjoy these easy healthy dinner recipes as much as we do!
What’s our definition of easy? To us, easy means simple cooking methods and accessible ingredients. Many of the recipes below are quick recipes too: like 30 minutes or less. A few are 30 to 45 minutes but have simple cooking methods and include hands off time for cleaning up.
First, one of our very favorite new easy healthy dinner recipes: a poke bowl! This delicious spin on a Hawaiian inspired poke bowl features seared salmon and veggies in a colorful bowl, an easy dinner idea perfect for weeknights or entertaining.
Most poke bowl recipes use raw sushi-grade ahi tuna that is cut into cubes. But for our seared salmon poke bowl spin, we marinate the salmon and then sear it for just a minute in a hot pan. It’s cooked in literally 30 to 45 seconds: talk about quick dinner recipes! Then throw it in a bowl with rice, tangy cucumber “noodles”, sesame carrot ribbons, and red cabbage and you’ve got one very, very delicious dinner.
First up in our easy healthy dinner recipes: this delicious tomato gnocchi soup! Food is all about vibe, and this one channels all those cozy, comforting, and warm feelings! This tomato basil gnocchi soup is tangy and bright, filled with chewy gnocchi pillows and topped with Parmesan cheese. The secret to the creamy tomato basil base is after sauteing onion and garlic, deglaze the pan with white wine vinegar. The tangy vinegar brings out the brightness in the tomatoes. Pair with a salad (with homemade salad dressing, of course!) for an easy dinner.
Next in our easy healthy dinner recipes: tacos! Our Instant Pot tacos use our “famous” Instant Pot lentils and rice recipe. Here’s what one tester had to say: “I made this recipe over the weekend and it was so good! My toddler Emma loved it straight out of the Instant Pot. Carnivore husband loved it too!” In these tacos, the lentils are rice are used taco meat equivalent, then loaded up with colorful veggies, salsa, and sour cream (or use vegan sauces like our cilantro sauce or chipotle cream). And don’t have an Instant Pot? No problem. Make the stovetop Lentil Tacosfilling!
This mango black bean chili recipe is a zesty spin on the typical chili! Chunks of fresh mangos add a sweetness and complexity that’s just right for a hearty chili, especially if it’s a vegetarian black bean chili like this one. A little allspice and a squeeze of lime kick it up a notch! This mango black bean chili recipe is perfect for just about anything, from tailgating recipes to easy healthy dinner ideas.
This is one of our quickest easy healthy dinner recipes, which you can make in about 25 minutes! It’s a take on the popular Vietnamese sandwich, which features meat or egg on a baguette with lots of delicious quick pickled vegetables. Our version is vegan: we’ve had takes on the vegan banh mi at a few local restaurants, so it seems to be trending! This flavorful vegan banh mi sandwich features a homemade ginger lime hummus, colorful pickled vegetables, cilantro, and of course: Sriracha!
One of our top concepts for easy healthy dinner recipes is the bowl meal! Healthy dinner bowls are not only incredibly delicious, they’re beautiful and simple to make: the triple threat of weeknight cooking, right? This tropical mango quinoa bowl recipe is one of the most delicious ways we’ve tried yet. The quinoa bowl features mango, red pepper, red cabbage, avocado, fresh greens, cilantro and cashews. Top it off with our citrus drizzle, a vegan cashew sauce made of soaked cashews, orange and lime juice, and fresh ginger. Mangos can be intimidating to cut, so here’s a helpful video of how to cut a mango!
This tomato coconut cauliflower curry is delicious, nutrient packed, and ready in just over 30 minutes! People have been making this one for years, and it’s one of the easy healthy recipes that we hear makes it into the weeknight rotation for readers and followers. This one requires a bit more chopping: sweet potato, cauliflower and onion. But once you’ve chopped the veggies, it’s a breeze to simmer up: and you can clean as you go. It’s one we often we recommend for getting your feet wet in plant based cooking.
This healthy baked sweet potato recipe with Moroccan lentils is exceptional! The sweet potatoes are baked until moist and tender. They’re layered with lentils that are mixed with Moroccan flavors: cumin seeds, cinnamon paprika and harissa, and veggies. To top it all off: a creamy lemon tahini sauce brings it all together. The vibrant sweet potatoes against the savory spiced lentils are the perfect match: drop-dead delicious! This is a favorite in our healthy dinner recipes lineup.
Rounding out our best easy healthy dinner recipes: this Tuscan artichoke lentil stew! Stews and soups are one of our favorites ways to eat leafy greens which adds a huge punch of nutritional goodness. This lentil stew is one of our most popular and a big favorite in our family. It features Tuscan kale, but you could also substitute handfuls of spinach or other baby greens. Another favorite that has a similar vibe: our Tuscan Soup with White Beans that tastes like liquid pizza.
And last up in our easy healthy dinner recipes: this Moroccan stew with chickpeas! This chickpea stew tastes complex and fresh: it’s full of cumin, ginger, a bit of cinnamon, and topped with fresh cilantro, a squeeze of lemon and a touch of Greek yogurt. Of the Moroccan elements, the easiest to spot is the spice blend! We’ve used a blend of savory and sweet spices: paprika, cumin, coriander and turmeric on the savory side, and ginger and cinnamon on the sweet side. Cinnamon in particular is traditionally used in Moroccan savory stews. Another Moroccan element: using sweet flavors to offset the savory, which is where the sweet potatoes come in! It’s absolutely satisfying and is a tried and true reader favorite.
Looking for more dinner recipes?
Outside of these easy healthy dinner recipes, here are a few more collections of dinner recipes:
Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.
Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.